Met's "pay what you wish" policy upheld | Rock Candy

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Met's "pay what you wish" policy upheld

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge metropolitan-museum-of-art-imagesmetropolitan-museum-of-art-address-wrcqivlq.jpg


OK, this is a little off the beaten arts track in Arkansas, but I am happy at the news that the Metropolitan Museum of Art's "pay what you wish (but you must pay something)" admission policy has been upheld by a New York court. The policy had been challenged by museum goers who contended that the museum's lease and an agreement with the city — both dating to the 19th century — mean the museum had to charge admission. 

Supreme Court Judge Shirley Werner Kornreich wrote:

“For those without means, or those who do not wish to express their gratitude financially, a de minimis contribution of a penny is accepted,” the judge wrote. “Admission to the Met is de facto free for all.” To end the suggested admission practice — visitors pay, on average, around $11 of the full $25 suggested fee — would cut a large portion of the museum’s budget and undermine its mission to provide access and educate the public, she added.

I believe in free admission — and when the Arts Center started charging for its special exhibitions in the not too distant past, it made me a little uncomfortable. The mission of the Arts Center is to educate and elevate and some admissions fees meant that not every Arkansan could take advantage of the Arkansas Arts Center. At one time there was a donation box in the lower lobby. But even the vastly endowed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art charges admission for its special exhibits. You've got to keep the lights on. 

The Met's policy was instituted in 1970. At the time, it meant that you could pay a quarter and go in, and many of us students at the time did just that. It was a huge topic of conversation. I boarded a bus once on Madison Avenue and heard the bus driver answer a question about the fare, "Pay what you wish but you must pay something," and the passengers exploded in laughter. 


Tags: ,


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • A miscellany of art: Aug. 10-16

    We don't get to post all the jpegs of artwork on exhibit that come into the office, but they have more allure and tell you more about the work than what I can write about them. Hence this slideshow of work from shows opening tonight (Aug. 10) for 2nd Friday Art Night, 5-8 p.m. (see the To Do list for more information), and other openings and shows this weekend and in the days ahead.
    • Aug 10, 2018
  • See the Perseids

    And more!
    • Aug 9, 2018
  • Majority: Red-light 30 Crossing

    But ARDOT's project to widen the interstate is preordained, some believe.
    • Aug 9, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Coming Monday: Little Rock Black Restaurant Week

    MoTown Monday is Ceci's Chicken and Waffles. Tasty Tuesday is Sims BBQ and Brewster's Soul Food Cafe. Wing Wednesday is Chicken King and Chicken Wangs. Soul Food Thursday is Lindsey's BBQ and Hospitality House and Food Truck Festival Friday is @station801. It's the first Black Restaurant Week.
    • Mar 8, 2017
  • New music from Isaac Alexander

    New music from Isaac Alexander.
    • Jul 14, 2017
  • No Small Talk Ep. 8: Katy Henriksen, Springs Arts preview

    A packed episode this week of "No Small Talk": a chat with Katy Henriksen, from Of Note on KUAF; Stephanie Smittle breaks down the Spring Arts issue; and we finish up with just a tiny bit of Oscar chatter.
    • Mar 9, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation